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What the San Francisco Giants Learned From the Astros Series

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 22: Third base umpire Mike Muchlinski signals a fair ball after Evan Longoria #10 of the San Francisco Giants dives for and misses 2a ball hit by Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on May 22, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 22: Third base umpire Mike Muchlinski signals a fair ball after Evan Longoria #10 of the San Francisco Giants dives for and misses 2a ball hit by Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on May 22, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 13: Hunter Strickland #60 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 13, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 13: Hunter Strickland #60 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 13, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Bullpen Is Going to Be Just Fine

After putting the Giants far out of reach on Tuesday, the bullpen came out on Wednesday afternoon and kept the Astros offense at bay. In the off-season, the front office did what they could to reinforce a bullpen that struggled last season. I know what you’re thinking, “Nick, the Giants are in the bottom 10 of teams in bullpen ERA and just average in every other statistic.”

Nothing is perfect, but once Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto return, the bullpen will get more help. With those moves, the Giants will be able to send the younger bullpen arms to get more seasoning. They will also get Mark Melancon back in a couple of weeks, which will likely bring a closer by committee situation. Either that, or Hunter Strickland assumes his old role of righty specialist and late-inning relief, which I don’t really see happening.

Yes, the Giants have some guys in their bullpen who have not been helpful by any stretch. The bad does not outweigh the good, which brings them to a middle of the pack bullpen. However, their core guys consist of quality relievers who can secure wins with little issue. Considering the last couple of years, this is a welcome revival. I personally would rather have a bullpen that’s middle of the pack right now than dead last in all statistical categories.

I think it’s fair to say that the bullpen is at its worst when it’s losing by a large margin. When they need to keep the Giants in the game, they are certainly more than capable of putting guys out there who can. According to FanGraphs, the Giants are a Top 10 bullpen in terms of clutch situations.

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